Despite the actions we must sometimes take, Noreen are a noble race. We are proud of who we are, and we are proud of how our actions shape the world we live in. I have been given the honor of writing a history of our people for the education of the younger races. Thank you, future readers, for taking the time to absorb my words.
When we began, we were insignificant. Our people were mere infants, wandering aimlessly and sharing one mind. There were no individuals, nor were there any names or minds. The other races were not even born yet when we found the edges of the world. We simply existed to move, to eat, to breed. As we moved and ate and bred, we learned and became more than mindless wanderers. We were one, and we were becoming intelligent and rising above our previous generations.
Finally, our people began to get strange urges. We walked to certain places, and we waited. Those who waited had no end to their lives, and they taught us as they waited, with the thoughts they entertained themselves with.
When the Torrishu were born, one of us was present. They were not like us, with a shared mind, but they learned, and they taught each other, and we listened as they used sounds to communicate. They gave each other sounds to identify individuals, and we learned from them how to use our mouths to make sounds. Often, we were moved to trade with them, and they demanded we have sounds to call us by. We made some up, and they were pleased. The more we learned from this younger race, the more we grew. They gave names to the strange urges we had, and our understanding of our own minds grew.
We became something more than just a single mind, as we gained named. We became individuals who shared thoughts and ideas. Only as we became individuals did our knowledge and experience fully blossom, so each time we gave birth, we followed the Torrishu and gave a sound name to our young, so they might gain the same benefits we took so long to gain for ourselves. We lived in peace for generations, and we called our intelligence and individuality the “Gift of Torrishu” to thank them.
The next race born came from little dragonflies in a swamp who ate the spilled blood of one of us who walked into the jaws of a swamp lizard at the urging of a force we could only barely comprehend. When that one died, she felt only joy in the flesh and in the mind, so we did not mourn her. Another of us watched as the newborn race grew from dragonflies into glowing things, then suddenly shifted all at once to physical form.
The moment they did that, dozens of us approached the Torrishu and paid them for aid. The designs for the city we built baffled us. It was tall, situated on a mountain at the edge of the sea, and looked out across the entire land. It was filled with thin towers and tall spires, and every surface was awash in pale, gleaming color. We left one of our people there, and moved on, returning only when we needed supplies that others brought.
Once it was finished, we returned our attention to the new race. They were unusual to us, with five fingers and toes, three eyes, and not much hair. They were more interested in wisdom than intellect, and they, like the Torrishu, passed knowledge down rather than sharing a mind. Their bodies were physically weak, but they possessed something we could hardly comprehend. They called it Magic.
We watched them, and they used Magic to make homes and hunt food, to cook and to clean. They controlled fire, earth, lightning, wind, water, and more, and they were happy. We began to mimic their Magic, and eventually learned their light Magic and their wind Magic.
One of us made a mistake and used magic in front of a village of Hundle, and they tore him apart with their own Magic. We became scared, and we began to whisper on the wind, changing their thoughts to less violent patterns. It was our first time doing such, and we changed the proud, strong, stupid Hundle into a race that was utterly pathetic, but those that performed this act felt such pleasure at it, much as the one who walked into the teeth of the beast, that only one of us sought to undo it, and by doing so, a force we could not comprehend devoured him painfully over an entire cycle of seasons.
Frightened, one of our number sought out a venerable Torrishu under the guise of trade and asked if any of his race felt such things. He said no, and gave us the words “It must be Fate.”
The one who heard the words asked more, and he gave sounds and names to the thing that drove us. The Law was the thing that punished or rewarded us when we did strange things for the urges, and Fate was served by the Law.
We took the words “Do as Fate” and made them ours, and the aged Torrishu declared the third age ended. Far away, one of those who waited watched as a race that looked like the Hundle appeared and picked up stones. They killed the waiting one, and we felt nothing. We avoided the Humans for fear we might be forced to reduce them as we did the overpopulating Hundle.
We watched from a distance as the humans killed many of the Hundle and tried to bring much harm to the Torrishu and to us, and when we were about to act, the Torrishu countered the Humans and hid the Hundle, and we watched. Humans quickly learned that they would not die if they lived peacefully, and for a time, there was peace.
Eventually, the Humans and Hundles began to become close, and the Humans took advantage of their lessened strength. They enslaved Hundles and began to breed them as something above livestock, but not quite a people, and the Hundles, out of cowardice, allowed it.
Humans have since taken over much of the world at ground level. We have the mountains. The Torrishu have the underground. The Hundles live wherever there is space for them, usually in places too dangerous for the Humans to live. The lands are running out, and our listener among the Torrishu warn that the fourth age ended when one of the wild Hundle took shelter in a cave and never came out.